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This flavorful, spicy Thai dish requires only a few staple pantry ingredients and comes together in no time!

Since I’m off during the Summertime, I like to use my extra free time to experiment in the kitchen and stray from my, oh, five dinner recipe regulars. 🙂 Barry’s absolute favorite dish from our beloved local Thai restaurant is Thai Basil Chicken (known as Pad Krapow Gai). One of my cooking goals this Summer was to try to recreate this dish at home, with a few tweaks to make it even simpler to prepare. I think I’ve done it with my Shortcut Thai Basil Chicken!

Now, let me preface this recipe by saying that it’s not totally traditional. There are ingredient substitutions that I made in order to make life easier, and few things here and there that I tweaked based on our personal preferences. While this may not be the absolute traditional Thai Basil Chicken you’re looking for, if you’re looking for the simplified version, I’ve got you. 🙂 As a bonus, it’s also an inexpensive meal, and is very quick to prepare with mostly pantry items!

Basil leaves.


  1. Ground chicken: To save time, we use ground chicken for this dish, as it cooks up quickly.
  2. Basil: If you can find Thai basil, use it! Otherwise, regular Italian basil works really well. I have yet to find/use Thai basil, and I prefer the ease of being able to pick up regular basil at my local grocery store.
  3. Chili garlic sauce (in lieu of Thai chilis): Again, I’m all about ease when it comes to cooking. The first time I was working on this recipe, I visited three different stores and was unable to find Thai chilis. Another good substitution for them would be Serrano chilis, but…guess what? I couldn’t find those either. 🙂 Since the dish was my plan for dinner that night, I had to think fast, and improvised with some chili garlic paste that I had in my pantry. I found that it provides the perfect kick of heat, and it’s an added bonus that it’s a pantry item as opposed to a fresh ingredient that needs to be specially purchased.
  4. Shallots and garlic: The shallots provide a milder taste than onions do, which really allow the other flavors of the dish to shine through. And…garlic makes everything better. 🙂
  5. Sauce ingredients: A simple mixture of chicken stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar make the tasty sauce for this dish.

*Note: I do not use oyster sauce or fish sauce in my recipe. I personally do not like the taste of either of these sauces so I choose to omit them (and this dish is still extremely flavorful!) Feel free to add a splash of either one in, though, if you’d like!

Thai Basil chicken in bowl


  1. Make the sauce: Whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Cook the shallots, garlic and chicken: Heat oil over medium heat, then add the shallots, garlic, and chili garlic sauce. Stir in the ground chicken and cook until cooked through, crumbling as you go.
  3. Add the sauce: Stir in the sauce you prepared earlier.
  4. Add basil: Stir in fresh basil leaves until wilted, and serve!
Thai chicken in bowl with fresh basil.

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Let us know if you give it a try!


This flavorful, spicy Thai dish requires only a few staple pantry ingredients and comes together in no time!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Danielle


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use the less sodium version)
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce (I use the reduced sodium version)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1.5 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili garlic sauce (More or less to taste, depending on how much spice you like!)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves


  • Head vegetable oil over medium heat in a sauté pan.

  • While the oil is heating, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar and set aside.
  • Add the shallots and garlic to the sauté pan and cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes). Stir in the chili garlic sauce.
  • Add in ground chicken and cook until cooked through (about 10-12 minutes), crumbling it well as you go.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, stir in the broth mixture from earlier and combine.
  • Stir in the basil leaves until wilted, and serve!

If you’re looking for the perfect side dish to compliment this meal,, check out our recipe for fried rice!

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  1. Thanks, great recipe and nicely explained!

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